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Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-13-14

Posted on September 18th, 2014 at 11:10 am by

JWPF Endorses Full Page Ad in NYTimes

A full-page advertisement was run in the New York Times on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, appealing to Barack Obama to suspend aid to Israel. JWPF lent its name as an endorser to this ad, and we find ourselves in good company: Deir Yassin Remembered, If Americans Knew, Council for the National Interest, Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East, RighteousJews.org, and the prestigious Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Part of the text reads: “It would mean aligning with progressive Israeli organizations like Rabbis For Human Rights, Gush Shalom, Peace Now, B’Tselem, and The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, as well as US Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice For Peace and Tikkun.” We note that none of these groups signed on as endorsers of this project, and have determined that all were invited to sign, but refused to do so. We leave it up to readers to consider the reasons for their [in]actions.

Readers can view the ad here, and a tip of the hat goes to Michael Hoffmann for providing the scanned copy, saving folks $2.50 for the cost of a print copy of the New York Times (all the news that fits, we print*). The text copy of this ad can be accessed here. JWPF recognizes that the ad is an imperfect document which supports Obama’s claim to stand by Israel. JWPF does not accept claims to the legitimacy of this racist state. But the final two paragraphs are worth repeating here:

The choice is yours alone. Are you really the one we were waiting for? Will this time really be different? Is there really no problem we cannot solve? Are we going to say yes to justice and equality, or are we going to turn away, slump-shouldered? Can we really face down impossible odds and repair this world, or were those just empty words?

We believe they came from the heart, and we have the audacity to hope that you will take these courageous steps, and more, to make them a reality.

Correcting the Corrections at Ann Arbor City Council

From our vigil report of August 9 we noted a young Palestinian man addressing City Council with an impassioned speech about the suffering his family was witnessing in Gaza. He said

“Israel is committing a Holocaust against the Palestinian people and you guys supported the Jews when the Holocaust was on them in Germany. Why won’t you stand up now against this new Holocaust?”

Councilwoman Sabra Briere, during comments from Council, took it upon herself to remind this young man that Jewish suffering trumps all others, saying

“And I just wanted to add a tiny little bit of history. One of the speakers mentioned that the US had supported the Jews during the Holocaust and took the Jewish side. I’m not certain whether he said the Jews or the Israelis but what I heard was the Jews, and that’s not the case. The US government refused to allow people asylum in this country. Boatloads of people were sent back to Europe. No country opened their doors to allow refugees, and when rumors of what was going on in Poland and Russia and Germany made their way to the US those were not considered reasons for the US government to try any means possible to end the war. They were just considered unreasonable rumors because no one believed that such behavior was possible. This is not to suggest that the violence that is going on in any country is acceptable or that violence between Israel and Palestine is justified on any level; only to correct this error of understanding of history.”

This kneejerk reaction from an elected official brought another reaction from this writer, and with the research assistance from PeaceMonger, delivered additional historical information to Council on Monday, September 15, 2014. My address to Council is found below signature.

* Quiz: For 10 points determine the source of this faux-motto for the NYT

8 vigilers
Liberate Palestine; End the Jewish State
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

September 15, 2014 [398 words]
Agenda Item CC – Comments from Council; reaction to remarks made by Councilperson Briere August 7, 2014

Good evening,

I am here to respond to an historical correction offered by Councilwoman Briere to a comment made by a young Palestinian man on August 7. Mustafa Aggour said:

“Israel is committing a Holocaust against the Palestinian people and you guys supported the Jews when the Holocaust was on them in Germany. Why won’t you stand up now against this new Holocaust?”

During comments from Council, Ms. Briere said that “the US government refused to allow people asylum in this country. Boatloads of people were sent back to Europe.”

The US government is not a monolithic body, and I’m certain Ms. Briere would agree. It reacts to constituent demands, and from pressure exerted by powerful lobbies. One need only look at this summer’s unanimous decision by our Senate to support Israel in its relentless attack on Gaza for an example of the power of the Jewish Lobby.

Historical recollection of World War Two refugees is perhaps better illuminated by examining the infighting between Jewish groups on the topic of restricting immigration during the end of the war. A Palestinian Jew named Peter Bergson created a group called the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe. He was opposed – not by anti-Jewish bigots – but by Zionist leaders like Rabbi Stephen Wise, who argued and fought the initiatives to save Jews here, because it was contrary to the interests of Zionists, who wanted refugees to go only to Palestine.

Not only did the US admit tens of thousands of Jews from Germany and Austria, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, but they go on to say:

“Public opinion in the United States, although ostensibly sympathetic to the plight of refugees and critical of Hitler’s policies, continued to favor immigration restrictions. The Great Depression had left millions of people in the United States unemployed and fearful of competition for the scarce few jobs available”

If Ms. Briere was implying that the decisions made by the US were based on anti-Jewish attitudes, quotes like the above do a lot to discourage such conclusions.

And when Mr. Aggour claims that Jews receive positive press, certainly when compared to the press that Palestinians receive, he is absolutely correct. Kathleen Christison writes that during the time of the Partition Plan, “Virtually all reporting was from the Jewish perspective”.

I believe that Mr. Aggour’s question to council was spot-on, politically, emotionally and historically.

Thank you

Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-06-14

Posted on September 7th, 2014 at 10:05 pm by

School Starts, So Do We …

At least three positive actions loom, perhaps more. Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends have been somewhat silent on the summer’s slaughter in Gaza – not because we don’t care about the people – but because our interest has been in the total dismantlement of the Jewish state. While other “peace” groups called for an end to the attacks, JWPF wonders why these groups miss the point: that a Jewish state, fueled by Jewish interests, is incompatible with peace. Our protests continue with a single message: End the Jewish State.

September 20: Sharing the Stage

This writer plans to participate in a panel discussion with guests Gilad Atzmon and Greg Felton in Seattle, Washington on September 20, 2014. The discussion is titled “Jerusalem, Washington and Whatever Else”, and will be moderated by Ibrahim Soudy. It will be held at the University Temple United Methodist Church located at 1415 NE 43rd St. Seattle, WA 98105. Hope to see you there.

October 4: Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day

The most important holiday in the Jewish liturgical year falls on Saturday, October 4, and JWPF would like to see a larger turnout to match the anticipated larger turnout from Beth Israel congregants as they make their way to the sanctuary to pray for, among other items, the welfare of the Jewish state on that day. Peacemonger reminds us to celebrate the 5th Annual Bill Henry International Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day, which “honors the memory of Bill Henry (né Herskovitz), Z”L, for a decision that quite possibly saved an eight-year-old boy from a life of “Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism”. For the full story behind Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day please see the 2011 post about this momentous day.

October 12: ICPJ Crop Walk

“Ending hunger, one step at a time” is the theme for this social justice issue which the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice calls to the public’s attention. Often times in years past, JWPF has found it propitious to remind the public about the starvation of children in Gaza which is part of the problem of world hunger, and one that can easily be eliminated, by eliminating our country’s financial support of the Jewish state. Please join us at the Rudolf Steiner High School, 2230 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor.

October 19: Jewish Federation’s Big Event

The local Jewish community will dig deep into its pockets once again in the hopes that Jewish supremacism and nationalism will remain in control of Palestine and Washington, DC. The Federation’s website has not been forthcoming with the venue for this money-grab, but JWPF plans to be present outside the event on public property. Please make plans to join us.

Comments?

Aug 23: 12 vigilers
Aug 30: 8 vigilers
Sep 6: 8 vigilers
Liberate Palestine; End the Jewish State
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-16-14

Posted on August 17th, 2014 at 11:08 am by

Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission: “No Comment”

Ann Arbor resident Neal Elyakin is a founding member of the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge, a Board Member of the Michigan Chapter of the Friends of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and a Board Member of the Jewish National Fund. The Fund controls Palestinian land that was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba of 1948; the Business Bridge is antithetical to the Palestinian call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, and the IDF kills and maims innocent Palestinian women and children by the thousands and is perhaps the most egregious violator of human rights on the planet.

Now, Mr. Elyakin – an American citizen and possibly a citizen of the Jewish state – is free to associate himself with any organization he chooses, and we support his freedom. But it raises questions of conflict of interest when this supporter of the Jewish state, which he calls “my country”, including specifically his support of the [tongue-in-cheek] “most moral army in the world” is appointed by Mayor John Hieftje to sit on the local Human Rights Commission.

This writer attended the Human Rights Commission meeting on August 13, and raised this conflict of interest during their public commentary time, wondering what statement the HRC would make in regards to Mr. Elyakin’s fairly obvious conflicts of interest. The answer was quickly forthcoming: “No comment” said HRC Chair Leslie Krauz Stambaugh. “We do not respond to public comments.” Then she explained that the Commission had a “lot to do tonight.”

Readers are invited to read Gideon Levy’s column, written months before the current mass murder in Gaza, aka “Operation Protective Edge”, began. [ital]“The most moral army in the world; The Israel Defense Forces believe brute strength is the only way to act, yet Israelis refuse to see what Amnesty International and others tell them”. Also, a more detailed description of the local Human Right Commission’s refusal to see conflict of interest when it’s right under their noses, can be read here.

Comments?

10 vigilers
“It’s the Jews, Stupid!”
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-09-14

Posted on August 13th, 2014 at 10:17 am by

Ann Arbor City Council: “Where is the humanity?”

The Palestinian voice was heard loud and clear this past week in the chambers of Ann Arbor’s City Council as six Palestinian students and local citizens individually chastised the council and mayor for their continued inaction on the slaughter in Gaza and asked: “Where’s the humanity?” Between speakers the enthusiastic audience chanted “Boycott Israel!” allowing the mayor to take the opportunity to temporarily shut down the meeting and video broadcast. The coverage of this meeting can be found here and in this writer’s opinion, few videos are as important as this one, as Palestinian Americans voice their frustration and anger at local government. Please advance to 00:09:10 as the speakers begin addressing council. Kudos to Vigil supporters M and B for organizing and participating in these emotional, heart-rending presentations.

JWPF on Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad Radio

Veterans Today editor Kevin Barrett interviewed this writer last week for a one-hour radio show on Kevin’s No Lies Radio program. Kevin found our last report to be an invitation to talk further, and titles this interview: “Henry Herskovitz: ‘We’re winning the battle against Zionism'”, He writes:

In this interview Henry describes the huge shift in public opinion he’s witnessing as more and more Americans wake up and turn against Zionism. We discuss all of the most controversial related topics, including the Holocaust Religion and its heretics.

Click here, then on the right-pointing arrow to listen to the radio show.

Comments?

Eight vigilers
Holding the Jewish community accountable for their support of the Jewish state
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-02-14

Posted on August 4th, 2014 at 9:18 am by

We’re Winning (One man’s view)

4,200 miles on a motorcycle through ten states including Colorado and Wyoming netted us the following observation: There were only two rather feeble responses to the anti-Israel bumper stickers and garments worn, when in the past there were many. In addition, the force and anger of the offended viewers previously contained much more heat (always little light) than the two this year. True, many racist heads were turned away from the sentiments on the t-shirt, but only two had the courage of their convictions to mount anything close to an offensive. We conclude it’s just getting harder and harder to claim any defense for the vicious Jewish state and the war crimes it commits.

Josh Ruebner: stop picking on “Israel”

The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation – headed by Josh Ruebner – defines itself as “A national coalition of more than 400 groups, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation works to end U.S. support for Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We support a U.S. policy that upholds freedom, justice and equality.”

Past experience and encounters suggest to us that Josh also supports Israel’s claimed “right” to exist as a Jewish state and there lies the rub: Josh, since you support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state (and please do correct us if we’re wrong) how can you possibly criticize the tactics with which your Jewish state MUST act to maintain its racist policies inherent in its founding? Jews, with their seemingly never-ending arrogance, have planted themselves in the midst of a people who rightly reject their forced presence (force is the only way to maintain this Apartheid situation) and you, Josh, are a Jew.

It’s a tongue-in-cheek “tough row” to hoe for the Jewish state, killing and maiming civilians, with some Jews even calling for a complete genocide of the Palestinian people*. So how can you sit there and demand that Israel cease the violence that is REQUIRED of them to maintain Jewish supremacy?

We certainly hope that the US Campaign sheds its sheep’s clothing and comes out of its closet to announce its tacit alliance with the leaders of the Jewish state. After all, Josh, they’re only doing what they have to do.

And Rebecca Vilkomerson, you’re next …

Comments?

July 19: 7 vigilers
July 26: 4 vigilers
August 2: 8 vigilers
End the Jewish state: Now more than ever
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

* Jewish blogger Yochanan pens “When Genocide is Permissible” which is published by the Times of Israel, then taken down. Kinda like the trial attorney advising the jury to “disregard” statements made in their presence. Click here for article from Huffington Post.

Eid 2014

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 11:41 pm by

eid2014

Report on Beth Israel vigil 07-12-14

Posted on July 12th, 2014 at 6:19 pm by

JWPF in the News

Two JWPF supporters and this writer addressed the Ann Arbor City Council last Monday (7/7) on the topic of human rights violations and Israel. From the pages of AnnArborChronicle.com,

7:13 p.m. Public commentary. This portion of the meeting offers 10 three-minute slots that can be reserved in advance. Preference is given to speakers who want to address the council on an agenda item…Three people are signed up to talk about US-Israel foreign policy: Mozhgan Savabiehsfahani, Blaine Coleman and Henry Herskovitz…

7:21 p.m. Blaine Coleman says he was here a year and a half ago when Israel was bombing Gaza. He’d asked Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5) to spearhead a resolution asking for a boycott Israel. Now he was back a year and a half later and Israel was bombing Gaza again, and he was asking again for a symbolic resolution boycotting Israel. He refers to the beating of school children. [By way of background, here's a link to video posted by The Guardian, which reports the video was broadcast on a Palestinian TV station as showing the beating of Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15-year-old Floridian, who was visiting Israel.]

This boy was on the front page of the New York Times, Coleman says. He asks the council to pay for the boy’s airfare from Florida to come talk to the Ann Arbor city council.

7:28 p.m. Mozhgan Savabiehsfahani is also addressing the beating of the Floridian schoolboy. She’s also talking about other children who have been beaten up “on your watch.” She’s been coming to the Ann Arbor city council for 10 years, she says, telling the council that they need to act, and she’s seen no effect. “How many more dead bodies can you handle?” she asks. She tells them that they’re trying to make history, but “You ain’t gonna make no history, if you say nothing in the face of this kind of brutality,” she tells them. “You support this with your silence,” she says. She calls the bus stop slogans here in Ann Arbor – “Our Way of Life” – phony. She and Coleman are holding signs showing photographs of the beaten boy’s face. She tells the council they’re looking at her like she’s some kind of five-headed dragon. Boycotting Israel is their duty, she concludes.

7:34 p.m. Henry Herskovitz reminds the council that he’d told them last month how Israel had attacked the U.S.S. Liberty. Tonight he’s addressing the council on the topic of the Lavon Affair, which was a 1954 operation conducted by Israeli military intelligence that involved recruiting Egyptian Jews to strike U.S. and British civilian targets, which were then planned to be blamed on Muslim extremists. [Wikipedia link on Lavon Affair] Herskovitz traces the Lavon Affair to the policies of Eisenhower and Nasser. Lavon was an official who was forced to resign. Herskovitz quotes Malcom[sic] X, saying that the American public has been “bamboozled” on the issue of Israel.

Readers can view full speech after signature, and view the presentation here (forward to 00:22:47).

Comments?

5 vigilers
Denying Israel’s claim to legitimacy
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

July 7, 2014 [ 386 words]
Topic: The Lavon Affair: When Israel Firebombed U.S. Installations

Good Evening,

Last month I explained how our supposed ally Israel intentionally attacked the USS Liberty, in international waters in an attack lasting longer than that at Pearl Harbor.

This month I’d like to relate to you another attack on US property by this same supposed ally. This event happened 13 years prior to the attack on the Liberty, and occurred in the cities of Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, designed as false-flag operations. The targets were the U.S. Information Services libraries and consular offices. Egyptian Jews had been trained in Israel and returned to Egypt to await orders to carry out acts of sabotage in case of war between Egypt and Israel. They set off incendiary devices in these US offices, and also planned to bomb public arenas in these cities.

Part of the reason for these attacks lies in the budding relationship between two very popular, charismatic military men who became heads of state. President Dwight Eisenhower saw Gamal Abdel Nassar in his image and set out to create a relationship with him that would eventually enable a peace to be worked out between Egypt and Israel.

As is pretty evident by our recent news, Israel has never wanted peace, and in 1954 it was no different. Members of an IDF intelligence organization sent the Jewish sleeper cells into action and after they were arrested by Egyptian police, started the cover-up. State Founder David Ben Gurion blamed then Prime Minister Moshe Sharett for the bungled false-flag attack. General Moshe Dayan could not be implicated, neither would Dayan’s intelligence chief Benjamin Gibli. The only man unprotected in this chain of responsibility was Defense Minister Pinchas Lavon, from which the “Lavon Affair” got its name. He was forced to resign a half-year later.

To borrow a word from Malcolm X, the American people have been BAMBOOZLED by a pro-Israel press and the power of the pro-Israel Lobby. How many more eight million dollar days are we going to dole out to the very state which attacks, spies on and sabotages our county?

I’d like to conclude with the words attributed to Father John Sheehan of the Jesuit order: “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that, before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East”.

Thank you

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